Driving

Toyota Aygo review

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Toyota Aygo
Review continues below...
11 Sep 2016 22:00 | Last updated: 19 Sep 2018 09:21

In this review

Driving

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Toyota Aygo hatchback performance

Only one engine is offered: a three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol. And with just 71bhp available, performance can only best be described as lacklustre. Torque is available at 4600rpm, so you need to rev it hard and work the five-speed manual gearbox to make any meaningful progress. Once up and running, acceleration is by no means immediate; getting up to speed on a motorway slip road takes some time. And even around town, you need to keep the revs high to get away from traffic lights and junctions quickly.

Put simply, it's nowhere near as gutsy as a Volkswagen Up 1.0 TSI 90 or Kia Picanto 1.25 – both of which are better choices if you regularly venture out of town.

Toyota Aygo hatchback ride

Retuned suspension has gone some way to improving the Aygo’s ride comfort over the prevous model, but only by a fairly small margin. It’s not quite as jittery over potholes as it once was, but it’s still not the last word in composure. Rivals such as the Hyundai i10 and Skoda Citigo are much more comfortable.

Things are a little better on the motorway. The Aygo doesn’t bob up and down over undulations or corrugations, but any cracks in the road, or serious imperfections taken at speed, can make the car feel quite choppy and unsteady.

Toyota Aygo 2018 side

Toyota Aygo hatchback handling

The steering doesn’t provide a particularly informative picture of what the front wheels are up to, but it’s weighted nicely and responsive to inputs. City cars should be easy to manoeuvre at low speeds and, fortunately, the Aygo's steering is light enough to make U-turns and parking in tight spaces a real boon.

However, faster bends will expose the Aygo’s top-heavy nature, giving way to a noticeable amount of body lean. Still, at lower, urban speeds, it’s a usefully agile car that can nip in and out of traffic with little bother.

Toyota Aygo hatchback refinement

Work the engine hard – something you’ll need to do – and refinement really suffers. Engine noise rises, as does the amount of vibration you feel through the steering wheel and pedals. When you ease off the accelerator, there’s a fair bit of gearbox whine, too.

Despite the pedals being consistently weighted, the Aygo's gearshift is frustratingly imprecise; this isn't ideal because there's plenty of gearchanging required both in and out of town. The incredibly short travel of the clutch pedal and fairly sudden bite point might take some getting used to, as will the need to give the Aygo a considerable amount of revs to get going.

It's also hard to relax at a constant motorway cruise, because there's non-stop wind noise around the front windows and plenty of road noise. The engine can be particularly vocal at speed, too.

 

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